desert: Wikis

  

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also dessert, and désert

Contents

English

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Etymology 1

Middle English from the Old French deserte (to deserve). This in turn is from the Vulgar Latin deservire (to gain or merit by giving service)

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
desert

Plural
deserts

desert (plural deserts)

  1. (usually in plural) That which is considered to be deserved or merited; a just punishment or reward
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

French or Old French désert, from Vulgar Latin desertum, from Latin desertus (left waste), past participle of deserere (abandon), or from the Egyptian dSr.t (The Red Land)

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
desert

Plural
deserts

desert (plural deserts)

  1. A barren area of land or desolate terrain, especially one with little water or vegetation; a wasteland.
Translations
Derived terms

Etymology 3

French déserter, from Late Latin desertare, from Latin desertus, from deserere (abandon)

Pronunciation

Verb

Infinitive
to desert

Third person singular
deserts

Simple past
deserted

Past participle
deserted

Present participle
deserting

to desert (third-person singular simple present deserts, present participle deserting, simple past and past participle deserted)

  1. To leave (anything that depends on one's presence to survive, exist, or succeed), especially when contrary to a promise or obligation; to abandon; to forsake.
    You can't just drive off and desert me here, in the middle of nowhere.
  2. To leave one's duty or post, especially to leave a military or naval unit without permission
    Anyone found deserting will be shot.
Derived terms
Translations

Anagrams


Catalan

Etymology

From Latin dēsertum.

Noun

desert m. (plural deserts)

  1. desert (desolate terrain)

Serbo-Croatian

Noun

dèsert m. (Cyrillic spelling дѐсерт)

  1. dessert

Declension


Simple English

A desert biome is an area that receives less than 25cm (about 9.8 inches) of rainfall a year. Deserts are found in the western part of North America, Western Asia, Central Australia, and along the coast of South America. There are hot deserts in Africa, such as the Sahara, with scorching hot weather during the day and chilly nights.[1]

There are also cold deserts in South America, such as the Atacama, which may have below-freezing temperatures throughout the day and night. Deserts are very dry places. [2] Most of a desert is made up of sand or snow, sand dunes or snowdrifts, and cacti or very small plants. Deserts cover at least 33% of the earth.

Animals and Plants

There are not many animals in the desert, but some animals have learned to survive in various ways. They have different ways to survive the intense conditions of the desert. Examples of animals that live in hot deserts are lizards, small rodents, snakes, and camels. Plants and animals in hot deserts must live with very little water.

Xerophytic plants which live in the desert have special adaptations. They may survive by growing roots that are very near the surface to absorb the rain that may fall before it evaporates. Plants such as the cactus have thick, fleshy stems that help them store water.

Animals such as lizards and small rodents often escape the hot rays by digging underground burrows where they live. [1]They only come out at night to search for food. Like the plants, desert animals must live on as little water as possible. Most of the water used by these animals comes from seeds and stems that absorb and hold water. Camels survive in hot deserts by storing water in body fat in their humps. Like other desert animals, the camel loses little water in wastes.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Pous, Dinorah (2010). Blue Planet: English through Science. North America: McGrawHill. pp. 114 to 115. 
  2. "Desert". Encyclopædia Britannica online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-70815/desert. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
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